Friday, April 29, 2011
The Visitant (poem by Dorothy)
For what is an angel,
Is it oneself,
cast into its
swelling with joy
Or is it truly
some other nameless realm,
that place where
And if it should come before us,
how might we greet it,
bear its gaze,
of who we are,
each particle of secret longing,
each hidden scar?
April 27, 2011
(image from internet)
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Astrology reading for 2011--continued
Along with the fiery energy of Aries, the nodal axis moves from Cancer/Capricorn into Gemini/Sagittarius by March—the good news about it is that compared to 2010, this shift is bound to infuse more lightness into the year as it fosters motion to help energy circulate more fluidly. If (as I mentioned earlier) during 2010, people were caught between the future and the unyielding past, by the first quarter of 2011 the shackles will be severed and the motion focused primarily forward. This powerfully expressive and uncompromising energy awakens the primal self in people: the warrior, the creator, and the dissident.
It is time for the instincts to lead rather than the mind, potentially bringing interesting developments: more protest and activism, new projects being launched, and leadership redefinition. It is going to be loud… At its worst, this form of release will unleash aggression, as repressed emotions may erupt destructively. The compelling need for independence may foster ruptures. At its best, it is a call for freedom—a myriad of seeds will be planted to eventually remodel all forms and structures of our lives. Along with the emergence of new life, the past will claim that debts be paid and require us to relinquish something. This may manifest as a difficult rupture and/or sacrifice for some.
Along with this fire raging in our soul and lighting up the skies, an equally unique manifestation occurs in early April: the planet Neptune moves temporarily into its own sign of Pisces, for the duration of 4 months only (April-August). Neptune will move decisively into Pisces by February 2012 for approximately 14 years.
In simple terms Neptune represents all that we cannot control—that which came before civilization and human intervention. Thus, as it travels through the sign of Pisces, humans will be in the hands of the greater elements, nature, and the infinite cosmos. With Neptune in Pisces, the limit is beyond what the mind conceives, higher than the sky, way past the horizon…but be warned: without inner centeredness and integrity as guiding principles, this vastness is a maze that may blur our senses, potentially generating false perceptions, and thus, disorientation and debilitation. Natural events of extreme nature are bound to continue affecting our existence. With Neptune in Pisces, nature has a stronger hand over civilization.
The deeper message is that the influence of Neptune through Pisces provides a larger context, a profound and more distant calling, or a more “religious” inspiration to the previously described influence of planets in Aries responsible for the surge of creativity. The sum of it all represents a wide open field where chaos and creation collide—a space for higher inspiration, adventure, risk, unexpected results, unrestrained expression, wildness, instability, magic, and self-dedication; the spirit wants not only to be freed, but to answer a deeper calling! While security in material realms will be fleeting, one may find clarity and strength in higher dedication. (For a full article written by Maurice Fernandez on Neptune in Pisces, read the forthcoming issue of The Mountain Astrologer magazine—July/August 2011 issue).
From July onward, the climate shifts and the concentrated planetary influences are more diluted. The new seeds planted during the first part of the year will pass through a “test of time,” and of all the new initiatives, only a few will manage to truly take root—credibility will be tested. Indeed, the second part of 2011 is mostly about grounding the energy and nourishing it.
From a career standpoint, it will be time to assess what brings adequate remuneration out of the new projects. From a spiritual point of view, it is about integrating the vastness of higher inspiration and vision within the confines of time and space…while the spirit demands its freedom, it still needs to demonstrate substantial promise “down here!” Thus, excesses, far-fetched ideals, or visions too far ahead of their time will falter.
In simple terms, I strongly encourage you to utilize the energy of the first months of 2011, particularly from the end of January until the end of June, to step out of your comfort zone and advance your life. Despite economic strain and collective insecurities, it is a time to step out and conquer life. If you want to promote a new project, embark on a journey, or break free from unfulfilling life conditions, this will be a time to dismantle the shackles—this is your time!
Do risk and be prepared for an acceleration of processes. Along with inspiration and highs, expect crashes too because this energy is volatile, and like riding an untamed horse, it will try to shake you off balance at times. However, with all the risks involved, this time is unique: truly, a portal to a new dimension of yourself.
You will be inspired to follow your truth in all autonomy and without compromise—this call for freedom can at times compromise cooperation. To avoid whimsical or merely reactive behavior, I emphasize again that actions must serve a greater context, not solely immediate personal needs. Importantly, this energy can at times make you feel invincible and thus neglectful about self care. Lack of sleep, overstimulation of adrenals and energy crashes, or migraines are possible repercussions. It is best avoid caffeine during these months because you will be stimulated enough from stardust. Physical exercise will be tremendously helpful to provide an outlet for the internal buildup…the body will need to sweat and motion will bring inspiration, helping to circulate the flow.
January 20: Jupiter moves into Aries until June 4, 2011 – The freedom of spirit.
March 3: The Nodes move into Gemini/Sagittarius until August 2012 – Circulation and exchange.
March 12: Uranus moves into Aries until 2018 – Intelligent action to create a new future.
April 2 and 3: New Moon in Aries aligning 7 planets in the sign – Breaking away from the past.
March 4: Neptune moves into Pisces until August 6 2011 (and then from February 2012-2025) – Aligning our core with needs greater than our own.
June 6: Jupiter moves into Taurus – Integrating spirit into matter.
May we all have the courage to bring forth the best of ourselves: to heal, inspire, and create, while guided by heart. Allow the internal hero to emerge and do not wait to be rescued by another. Importantly, save yourselves from being self-righteousness …whatever truth you wish to bring forth, allow that truth to speak for itself with grace.
May love guide your way;
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
An Astrologer Looks at 2001--part l
2011 - A Call For Freedom
Maurice Fernandez with a 2011 Forecast
By Molly Hall, About.com Guide
Editor's Note: This is an inspiring, sweeping overview for the Year 2011, from evolutionary astrologer Maurice Fernandez. It's written with astro-logos in mind, but it's here in language everyone can understand. Enjoy!Greetings Everyone!
2010 is almost over leaving most of us marked quite deeply by its tempestuous passage. Astrologically speaking, it was no surprise as it seems that whoever is behind the organization of planetary positions ensured that the blend of intensity would hurl everything into the mix including the kitchen sink and in high doses. Some of us managed to harness the strong forces at play in order to crack open patterns and access completely new ground while others were essentially ravaged by the elements; the majority of us ended up somewhere in the middle, having fluctuated between breakthroughs and breakdowns.
Looking back, 2010 was a year that propelled people forward whether by choice or by circumstance…the urge to “take the plunge” was compelling…some made the leap consciously, while others felt pushed into it. And yet, with this strong calling for change, many felt they were simultaneously held back and not able to go forward all the way; the future was calling, but the past—often unyielding and asking for its dues—left many in the twilight zone, sometimes trapped in frustration.
The series of events that manifested under the 2010 planetary cycle was surely shocking, and at times truly bizarre: perhaps symbolically, European airports, especially Heathrow, in England, reflected the bewilderment when repeatedly pounded by strikes, extreme weather conditions, or volcanic ash from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano that stalled all activities. On other shores, the series of Haitian plagues have almost become casual news, and the trauma of the Gulf spill remains deeply marked in our consciousness—along with new and controversial figures like Assange—a public outcry was fostered against the misuse of power by those in authority.
This intensity continues until the very last days of 2010 since a dramatic and tight lunar eclipse conjuncts December’s solstice point, generating a new wave of intensity throughout the month. When I wrote an article last year about the then coming year of 2010, I predicted that by the end of it, one’s life would not be the same; this seems to have held true: all around me I see the entire planet earth in transition, with the past left behind and not yet fully integrated into the future.
We step into 2011 in that state of transition, excited, bewildered, overwhelmed, and some of us completely renewed. Like previous articles of this kind, I will attempt to explain the planetary cycles ahead while keeping the language accessible to non-astrologers; basic terms will be utilized.
From a planetary standpoint, I would say that 2011 actually begins around January 20th when the planet Jupiter moves into the sign of Aries. Jupiter will rush through the sign of Aries, remaining only 5 months in that sign until early June (unlike other Jupiter passages that typically last about a year in a sign). This accelerated motion seems to capture the character of the times ahead. The pace will be sped up, particularly during the first half of the year. We may envision the energy of Jupiter in Aries much like an uncompromising force: raw in its expression, and highly charged emotionally. There is a peak excitement, a surge of adrenaline, and a powerful eruption of creative energy; it is a birthing process, catapulting us into newness and action. A new phase of your life is now actively in the making!
This particular cycle receives considerable support from a series of other planets joining Jupiter in Aries, creating a climax, perhaps orgasmic, when by the April 2nd new Moon, 7 planets (Eris included) will be aligned in this sign! It is not possible to remain still or indifferent under such a concentration of energy and the answer is to take action! People will be highly inspired to act, change, and follow their truth. This is not a time to succumb to anxiety or insecurities—it is about risk and action. The need for autonomy and breaking away from any form of external control will be tremendous…almost unstoppable.
Those who have a background in astrology will find it significant to pinpoint where the sign of Aries is located in their charts to identify the area of focus where this burst of change and creativity will be most active.
Note: The above entry comes through o.k. on my computer. But if you have trouble with it, you can go directly to the website of Maurice Fernandez to read the original.
Monday, April 25, 2011
poem by Elizabeth Reninger
matters: this ecstatic
this standing on stick-
thin legs where the singing
creek pools at the lip
of the waterfall
chest diving to meet
this beak piercing
again and again that quivering
surface, these wings half-
unfolding, a ruffle
of joy guiding rivers
of light a tumble
of droplets dressed
in rainbows along your hidden
blue branches in quiet
assent. . .
- Elizabeth Reninger
Sunday, April 24, 2011
The Angel (poem by Dorothy)
And if we should
its blazing wings,
its shimmering hair,
let us have courage
at it fully,
its radiant energies
as these flow
into who we are,
more than we have
For an angel
is hard to bear.
What it demands
the accustomed round.
What it wants
is nothing less
of all the old ways,
to a new creation,
into a more luminous design.
April 24, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011
poem by Marge Piercy
The hawk eye of the sun slowly shuts.
The breast of the bay is softly feathered
dove grey. The sky is barred like the sand
when the tide trickles out.
The great doors of Shabbat are swinging
open over the ocean, loosing the moon
floating up slow distorted vast, a copper
balloon just sailing free.
The wind slides over the waves, patting
them with its giant hand, and the sea
stretches its muscles in the deep,
purrs and rolls over.
The sweet beeswax candles flicker
and sigh, standing between the phlox
and the roast chicken. The wine shines
its red lantern of joy.
Here on this piney sandspit, the Shekinah
comes on the short strong wings of the seaside
sparrow raising her song and bringing
down the fresh clean night.
- Marge Piercy
Friday, April 22, 2011
Looking (poem by Dorothy)
We go on our wanderings,
turning over this leaf
scrutinizing the clouds
for a message,
sometimes just stopping
Don’t you ever get tired
of this endless searching,
this fruitless pursuit
of a sign?
Don’t you sometimes long
for a final revelation,
angels descending on
the ultimate “aha!”
What would you do
if you made a sudden discovery,
the light surrounding you
like a revelation,
Would you be happier then?
Could you cope
with this amazed wildness streaming
in your blood,
touching your cells alive,
that you, too, are wondrous,
pulsation in the eternal flow?
April 20, 2011
(Above image is from ancient Egypt. It is titled "Drawing Down the Magnetic Fluid" and is thought to depict an initiation ceremony in which the priest transmitted the magical energies (Kundalini?) into the aspirant.)
Thursday, April 21, 2011
The Awakening (poem by Dorothy)
You never knew
where it came from.
Later some said
some voted for purity
(though you knew better).
In any event,
it was your time.
All the conditions were ripe,
floating like feathers
on a stream
to a preselected destination.
No one was there
to lead you.
Not even a person to tell,
friend or loved one,
So you kept everything
hidden in the
of your personal closet,
like a forbidden novel,
a store of some
you kept your appointments
with the unknown suitor,
the one you called the Beloved,
who had no name,
As the years passed
you came to know
one another well in a fierce union,
flame of terror and bliss,
and the silence deepened.
You never discovered
why it happened,
what it meant.
in its own inscrutable
Of such mysteries
are our lives compounded,
moment to moment
of the indecipherable.
April 20, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Passover (Poem by Lynn Ungar)
Then you shall take some of the blood, and put it on the door posts and the lintels of the houses . . .
and when I see the blood, I shall pass over you, and no plague shall fall upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
-Exodus 12: 7 & 13
They thought they were safe
that spring night; when they daubed
the doorways with sacrificial blood.
To be sure, the angel of death
passed them over, but for what?
Forty years in the desert
without a home, without a bed,
following new laws to an unknown land.
Easier to have died in Egypt
or stayed there a slave, pretending
there was safety in the old familiar.
But the promise, from those first
naked days outside the garden,
is that there is no safety,
only the terrible blessing
of the journey. You were born
through a doorway marked in blood.
We are, all of us, passed over,
brushed in the night by terrible wings.
Ask that fierce presence,
whose imagination you hold.
God did not promise that we shall live,
but that we might, at last, glimpse the stars,
brilliant in the desert sky.
- Lynn Ungar
(image from google--Gustav Dore)
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) is recognized as one of the great Japanese masters of the haiku (short verse form with set numbers of syllables in each line.) During his lifetime he won considerable fame and his books found some commercial success.
I have been reading "Narrow Road to the Interior," a title which seems to carry a double meaning. This book describes one of his very long "wanderings" (on foot and horseback), this to his native home, where he is reunited with his family. Curiously, the "interior" is (as I understand it) the area north of Sendai, the city much in the news lately.
He writes in a charming, descriptive style--telling of the various temples and villages and rural folk he encounters along the way. At one Shinto temple he was denied entrance because they thought he was a Buddhist priest (because of his shaved head.) However, he was not.
Here are some of my favorite verses:
Along the roadside,
blossoming wild roses
in my horse's mouth.
I would like to use
that scarecrow's tattered clothes
in this midnight frost.
and a frog-jump-in
(Above poem translated by Harold G. Henderson)
(This frog haiku is his most famous poem.)
Although Basho was not specifically a "spiritual" poet, his poetry does much to reveal his own inner nature and the world he lived in, one of greater simplicity and purity than our own, although it too contained its own dangers and threats, especially for someone traveling the countryside. In fact, Basho likely thought he would be killed by robbers along the way, but fortunately he lived to write his account of his journey.
(Image found on google)
Friday, April 15, 2011
Who Is Thomas Hubl?
Thomas Hubl is, according to the descriptions, a highly respected spiritual teacher from Germany. He is reported to be well known in Europe, but is just beginning to emerge in America. He is currently on tour in the U. S., and he will include a visit to Colorado (Boulder) on his itinerary.
He has many videos on YouTube and you can learn a great deal about his approach from viewing them. The essence of his teaching is "transparent communication." He advocates that our move into the next stage of cultural evolution will include this rather remarkable ability to be totally transparent to one another, and thus move from an "I" culture to a "we" culture. Through this approach we would immediately know one another at the deepest levels--our history, our past griefs and traumas, our present aspirations, and our shadow. He feels that this would permit a fullness of connection lacking in our present society.
His approach is quite interesting and he is an extremely articulate and well informed teacher. His ideas remind me of what I have read from certain metaphysical writers of the past, who described life in the afterworld in similar terms, stating that there are no secrets among the spirits in the higher realms, for each thought is instantly transmitted to all the others in that particular circle. Thus, there is no deceit, no cunning, no harmful desires.
I must admit that, although I find Hubl's perspective compelling, I also have several reservations. Frankly, I would not wish to know the full history of another's life experience on the initial (or later) meeting. Nor would I wish my own life history and present occupations to be available instantly to anyone who chose to probe. I would feel that this was a great invasion of my privacy, and likewise of theirs. I meet many people who could--I feel sure--in no way comprehend my own past experiences or present pursuits (some would even think that being a poet was odd). I have always respected personal privacy, mine and other people's. I have no wish to"pry" into others' lives, nor do I wish to put my own on display for the world to see (though I do reveal a lot on this blog--but I feel that my "audience" is a self selected group, not the world at large.) Frankly, I feel that only God could contain or should be privy to such total inseeing into our human souls.
I may not be interpreting Hubl's views accurately, but these are the conclusions I have gathered from reading his writings and listening to his youtube presentation. I rate him highly for his ability to present his ideas in a most intelligent and persuasive way, but am not certain of the outcome of his approach.
I urge you to check him out at his website and youtube--he is well worth your consideration. And if you live in Boulder, you can hear him talk tonight and attend his workshop this weekend.
(Image from Hubl's website)
Thursday, April 14, 2011
On Not Getting Elizabeth Bishop
On Not Getting Elizabeth Bishop
she was a lesbian
by words like “stunning”
and “immaculate usage,”
so what is it
that slams the door
in my face
I try to read her.
I think it is her own face
I like best--
like so many
I have known--
they too were
only they didn’t
Yes, I think,
it would be nice
to know her,
or if not that,
at least to be part
of her crowd--
all the New Yorker
the cocktail parties,
lunching with the editors,
just to have a few moments
together, maybe hold
hands a bit,
a goodbye kiss.
Yes, I know,
I should take solace
from her verses.
But what should be
rich and juicy
always comes out dry
and a bit too crisp,
as if the words themselves
who they are,
as if they were made
by some language
and not begotten
in the ordinary moist
April 14, 2011
Elizabeth Bishop was one of the most acclaimed poets of the last century. I have tried many times over the years to read her verses, but somehow fail to grasp her full impact--so obviously I am missing something.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
poem by Amir Khusrow Dehlawi
By Amir Khusrow Dehlawi
(1253 - 1325)
English version by Mahmood Jalal
I asked, 'What's bright as the Moon?'
'My beautiful face,' was the answer.
I said, 'What's sweet as sugar?'
'My speech,' was the answer.
'What is the way of Lovers?' I asked
'The way of loyalty,' was the answer.
I said, 'Don't be so cruel to me.'
'It's my job to behave thus,' was the answer.
'What is death for Lovers?'
'Separation from me,' was the answer.
'What is the cure for life's ills?'
'To gaze upon my face,' was the answer.
'What is spring, what autumn?'
'Only my changing beauty,' was the answer.
'Who is the envy of the gazelle?'
'My swift gait,' was the answer.
'Are you a fairy or a houri?'
'I am the Lord of Beauty,' was the answer.
'Khusrow is helpless,' I said.
'He is my devotee,' was the answer.
-- from Islamic Mystical Poetry: Sufi Verse from the Early Mystics to Rumi, Translated by Mahmood Jamal
And here are some words from one of his songs performed on youtube
You’ve taken away my looks, my identity, by just a glance.
By making me drink the wine of love-potion, You’ve intoxicated me by just a glance;
My fair, delicate wrists with green bangles in them, Have been held tightly by you with just a glance.
I give my life to you, Oh my cloth-dyer, You’ve dyed me in yourself, by just a glance.
I give my whole life to you Oh, Nijam, You’ve made me your bride, by just a glance.
You can hear other of his songs set to music on youtube at Niyaz (Nine Heaven).
Note: This poem and the references to youtube come from Ivan Granger's Poetry-Chaikhana.
Thanks, Ivan. Selection (both poem and music) is wonderful.
(Image from google)
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Meditation with a Horse
Our connection with animals reminds us that we are linked together as species inhabiting this planet. And, of course, animals can be quite spiritual, as any "owner" knows.
The following youtube entry (Meditation Practice with a Horse) shows an animal who is obviously meditating with her "sponsor."
Monday, April 11, 2011
Modern Poetry--a poem and a reflection
It’s not that they aren’t useful,
these small moments,
glimpses of what they call
real life encounters
at the grocery or hardware,
that fail at crucial moments,
real remembered kisses
in the stolen dark
of the lost years.
These together make up
what we jestingly call
instants of the indescribable,
fragments of the
things we can cling to,
as “who we are.”
But what, after all,
do such trivia come to--
are they the fabled
“eternity in a grain of sand”?
It is as if a great forgetting were
as if life had become
as if it were too difficult nowadays
to conjure angels at play,
too painful to remember God.
April 11, 2011
I am a reader of poetry, both ancient and modern. I love the work of the early spiritual poets--Rumi, Hafiz, Kabir--they delight the spirit. I also like many of the more recent writers, especially those such as Mary Oliver, who acknowledge, however obliquely, the role of mystery that infuses the world about us. Denise Levertov, T. S. Eliot, Yeats for sure, Rilke--these speak to the deep soul.
But I sometimes grow impatient at the subject matter of many of the contemporary writers--they seem fixated on the mundane events of "ordinary" life-with its challenges and surprises, its discoveries and perplexities. Now, this indeed is a realm that deserves attention--we can often relate to their work and find parallels with our own lives. And frequently such poets show a profound mastery of technique, and are impressive in their deft use of language as well their subtle perceptions of the inner "meaning" of events.
But most seem so fixated on the realm of the personal that they completely ignore the "big questions." It is as if they have given up on the major concerns of human existence--who we are, why we have come here, what our connection might be to that which is larger than ourselves--the realm of the transpersonal as opposed to the strictly personal. I do not expect today's writers to offer answers to these "big questions," but somehow I wish they would at least acknowledge the invisible realms. I long for those who have the courage that Yeats spoke of when "naked to naked" goes, when the spirit, stripped to it bare essence, confronts the ultimate. Instead, such writers resort to the cloak of irony to avoid any direct confrontation with the imponderables. They pretend that all of existence is composed entirely of "small moments," with no thought to that which may exist beyond the "daily." They are good and often brilliant in their own sphere, but they perform (I think) in a narrow arena.
But we as humans will continue to ponder the deep issues--and today it is the mystics and spiritual explorers who keep such concerns alive. Perhaps one needs a major transformative experience to be whisked out of the ranks of the skeptics into that of the "believers." Kundalini itself is such a transformation. It takes one out of the realm of the "well, maybe, but I'm not sure" into the sphere of those who say "yes, there is more to this world than we have dreamed of," even if we lack precise definitions or names.
(image from quantum-witch on Photobucket--called "Angels with Gabriel")
Sunday, April 10, 2011
How One Day
How One Day
Think about this.
How one day you walked
in the mountains
and breathed the pure air.
How once you went to
and felt the colors
of the distant slopes
run through your blood.
How you waited for so long
and then she came.
How one day
in your life
and you were charged
again and again,
but you never knew why.
April 10, 2010
Kathryn Anne Porter spoke of "the moment that changes everything." For many of us, Kundalini was such a moment.
Saturday, April 09, 2011
poem by Iris Dunkle
Her Voice Grabbed Me So Hard I Almost Remembered Who I Was
for Sarah Ballard Smith (Last Native Speaker of Bodega Miwok)
Her voice is reel-to-reel crackling, earthbound, but all air.
Her voice reflects back like the cool, pearled shells of abalone.
Her voice stitched stories out of lightning and rain clouds.
Her voice collected the rains for fear of the drought.
Her voice was combed free of the trouble it must have contained.
Her voice could gather salt from the sea, leech acorns and smooth clamshells
into tiny, white beads.
Her voice was annotated with this currency.
Her voice skimmed the cool, shallow depths of Bodega Bay.
Her voice was quick as a baby tiger shark dodging predators, darting from
the sway of kelp leaf to kelp leaf.
Her voice contains the tiny blue stars of forget-me-nots and the nervous
beauty of quails.
Her voice still lingers in the grey combed clouds that stretch across the
too, blue above the restless sea.
- Iris Dunkle
This beautiful poem by Iris Dunkle reminds us of the power of voice. We experience this power in many ways--mantra, kirtan, chanting, singing, spoken poetry, the voices of others. Some of these forms date back before there was printing, or musical instruments, or written language. At that time people relied on human voice alone to induce trance states and honor the gods. In some societies the poet was considered to be a priest with special connection to the divine.
We can experience some of this power by listening (or performing) chant or song. Poetry becomes ever more powerful when it is spoken (for it derives from sacred oral tradition.) When you read Rumi or Mary Oliver, say the words aloud. If you can, listen to such CD's as The Chord of Love (hard to find, but worth it) with Ram Das saying sacred poetry, or the kirtan of Diana Rogers, or Krishna Das singing sacred verse.
Poetry began as the recital of sacred words, often as part of ritual or ceremony. It still retains such power if you approach it in the right way, for it (if it is the right kind) can awaken the deep sacred energies and perhaps lead to bliss.